RealTime IT News

Real Expands Franchise With NBA.com

As the professional basketball season starts to heat up, streaming media company RealNetworks is expanding its RealOne subscription franchise with The National Basketball Association's Web site, NBA.com.

The latest addition to their content deal is called "NBA Inside Ticket on NBA.com," which features original basketball programming via NBA.com and its subscription-based content service RealOne. Real and the NBA are also betting that, by combining the extra NBA content with its basic RealOne SuperPass, it may be able to convince subscribers to pony up to a higher monthly fee for their monthly sports fix.

The new, "NBA Inside Ticket" costs $9.95 a month and includes audio play-by-play from all NBA games; exclusive video highlights such as bloopers, the spiffiest dunks and extended player interviews and extensive analysis.

The NBA and RealNetworks already have a content deal in which programming and NBA highlights are provided with RealOne's SuperPass, which includes audio and video highlights from all NBA games. The subscription also includes football, college sports, and clips from "male-oriented" video of models in Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit issue and content from entertainment cable network E!'s "Wild On" programs.

At $9.95 a month, the subscription deal with the NBA was RealNetworks' first foray into streaming sports content for a fee. Since then, Real has launched a number of sports content packages, including streaming live baseball games via its RealOne partnership with Major League Baseball's MLB.com.

Other than the spiffy dunks of the day and exclusive videos and analysis, the package is offering about the same as its original RealOne SuperPass subscription, which also costs $9.95 a month. But now, Real and NBA.com are offering a combined monthly subscription pitch that includes the basics of SuperPass with the exclusive video of "NBA Inside Ticket" into a monthly subscription of $14.95.